Copyright and Trademark

Copyright and Trademark


Copyright is a legal protection for your work under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101. Bateman Law Firm can also take it a step further and protect your copyrights with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency for your registered copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office if you engage in international business. Types of work that can be protected:

  • Architectural Plans
  • Books
  • Broadcasts or films
  • Computer Programs
  • Consumer Products
  • Figurine Designs
  • Jewelry Designs
  • Motion Pictures
  • Music compositions
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Plays
  • Sculptures
  • Sound recordings
  • Typographical arrangement

Copyright Legal Services

Copyright Registration/Protection

Copyright Risk Management

Ownership Research

Cease & Desist Letter

Settlement Agreement

Copyright Litigation

Contracting for the Entertainment Industry

Licensing Agreements

How much of someone else’s work can I use without getting permission?

Under the fair use doctrine of the U.S. copyright statute, it is acceptable to use limited parts of a work such as quotes for reasons such as commentary, criticism, news reporting, and scholarly reports. There are no legal rules permitting the use of a specific number of words, a certain number of musical notes, or a percentage of a work. Fair use depends on all the circumstances. See, Fair Use Index, and Circular 21Reproductions of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians.

Misuse of fair use doctrine could potentially create a copyright infringement claim. According to the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 101, in a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proof and the court finds willful infringement, statutory damages can be up to $150,000 per infringement. In other instances, statutory damages can be awarded not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court deems just. An attorney is needed to help assess and navigate any copyright infringement issue.


The U.S. intellectual property § 45 (15 U.S.C. § 1127), a trademark is defined as:

a distinctive slogan, symbol, design, color, sound, scent, word, or a combination for your branded goods or services with a bona fide intent to use in commerce and registers. Trademark formats can also be protected in standard character or special form format.

Bateman Law Firm can help you strategize trademark registration, register your trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and add further protection by registering your trademark with the U.S. Customs & Border Protection agency.

Slogan Trademark

A slogan is a phrase that you advertise with your goods or services. Some infamous trademark phrases include:

“Just Do It” – Nike®

“I’m Loving It” -McDonalds®

“It’s Finger-Lickin’ Good” – KFC®

“Because You’re Worth It” – L’Oreal®

“We Have the Meats”- Arby’s®

“That’s Hot”- Paris Hilton

“This Sick Beat” – Taylor Swift

“I Pity the Fool” – Laurence Tureaud aka Mr. T.

Symbol Trademark

Some companies have a symbol that is incorporated in a logo. A logo is an image, mark, or symbol that is associated with your goods or services. A symbol can also distinguish your goods or services and could be used with the logo. If you trademark solely the logo and have a symbol part of it, only the entire image as a logo is trademarked as submitted as a whole per the exact image. Contact Bateman Law Firm if you are contemplating protecting both to assess trademark strategy and limitations.

For instance, you are not able to trademark a symbol if you are solely as part of a good or service (ie symbol printed on a shirt) or if exercised for personal use. It is required to be distinctive and can’t be a punctuation mark, letter, number, or common symbol. If the symbol has additional design components, it may be possible to trademark it. In summary, it needs to distinguish your business from others and have a “secondary meaning”.

Design Trademark

Trademarking can protect a design you want to be associated with your goods or services. The design aspect must be associated with the service, product, or company in the industry.  Some examples of design trademarks include:

Jean pocket curved stitching & red tab – Levis Strauss®

Distinct bottle shape – Coca-Cola®

High heel red sole – Christian Louboutin®

Red sealing wax – Makers Mark®

Chocolate Kiss Shape – Hershey’s®

Sound Trademark

Trademarking a sound is different from copywriting an expression of work. Trademarking a sound protects business goodwill and reputation related to the sound. The sound must be distinctive versus not functional or “commonplace”. If you are considering trademarking a sound without counsel, Some good examples of this include:

Doughboy’s giggle – Pillsbury®

Lion’s Roar- MGM®

Darth Vader’s Deep Breathing Robotic Sound – LucasFilm®

Six Musical Notes – ESPN®

Chimes- NBC®

For a more detailed list, visit with examples of trademarked sounds.

Color Trademark

Trademark a color?  Federal law permits trademarking a color if it is used in conjunction with goods or services used in commerce. The law has precise requirements to protect a color trademark.  Bateman Law Firm can assist you in navigating the parameters required for this protection.

Examples of companies that have trademarked colors include:

Robin’s egg blue to align with high luxury in the jewelry industry – Tiffany & Co.®

Bright red outsole with a contrasting color – Christian Louboutin®

Canary yellow for Post-It-Notes – 3M®

Red in discount retailer space -Target®

Trademark Legal Services

Trademark Registration

Trademark Risk Management

U.S. Border & Customs Agency Registration

Cease & Desist letters

Settlement Agreements for Trademark Infringements

Trademark Monitoring

Trademark Litigation

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